August 26, 2015 at 4:53 pm #1585Eleanor GardnerModerator
[posted by Eleanor Gardner on behalf of Bruce MacFadden]
I am interested in fossil land mammals from the Belgrade Quarry of North Carolina, a locality known to many fossil collectors in the Northeastern USA. I have collected there twice, in 2014 and 2015, before the Aurora Fossil Festival. A few teeth of early fossil mammals have been found in Belgrade over the years, including horses and peccary-like animals. According to Dave Bohaska, these fossils are in the Smithsonian collections. In May 2015, we found an ankle-bone of a peccary-like animal. These fossils are very rare, have never been described, and are important to science. They are of an early Miocene age similar to Thomas Farm site in Florida as well as the Pollack Farm site in Delaware. @cferrara of the SWFFC collected a horse tooth from Belgrade and showed it to me, but it was from the Pleistocene Equus, not early Miocene.
If we can find a critical mass of fossil land mammals from Belgrade, it would make an interesting contribution to science.
Thanks, Bruce @bmacfaddenAugust 26, 2015 at 6:43 pm #1590
Hello Eleanor and Bruce,
As you know, I have collected at Belgrade for 12 plus years – always around the fossil festival time, sometimes twice in one week, spending the whole day there! I’ll ask “when do you want us out?” and the guide says you can stay as long as you want, so we end up spending from 9 to 3 collecting. The Equus horse tooth is the only HINT of vertebrate fossil I have ever seen, I know they are very rare!!! I will check all rikers which I have dated for each fossil adventure with what was collected. Now, that being said, I do have many shark teeth from Belgrade that I have collected that Ronny and Victor my be interested in.
-Chuck Ferrara, SFFS Southwest Florida Fossil SocietyAugust 30, 2015 at 6:59 am #1611
This past May, on a field trip, Victor Perez @vperez found the fossil in the attached image. This represents an astragalus of a small artiodactyl, like a peccary, protoceratid, ?deer, etc. I’m excited because this adds another kind to what we know from Belgrade. I’m looking forward to the possibility of trying to ID it, although it may be difficult to narrow it down past family.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.August 30, 2015 at 2:29 pm #1613
That is a fantastic find! I’m leaning toward peccary; it’s not deer – it would be more uniform in shape. I would love a pic of the other side too. It would be great if we could find a pocket of mammal specimens… have to keep looking…August 30, 2015 at 4:36 pm #1614
I agree, Chuck @cferrara, that it’s probably not a deer. I’m excited to do some comparisons in the collections this week. I’ll post what I find out. I’ll try get a photo of the other side. Yeah, if we could find some more land mammals that would be great.
Dave Bohaska told me that there are a few mammal teeth from Belgrade in the Smithsonian collection that have been found over the years. These have never been described. My sense is that they are similar to Thomas Farm in type and age.
I really appreciate your input and thoughts! Hope all is going well with you, BruceAugust 31, 2015 at 1:44 pm #1617August 31, 2015 at 4:15 pm #1619
Peccary… there’s usually a ridge on the right side – it’s been broken away. You can see the marrow and smooth surface on the rest. Deer bone does not have the ridge, so I’m going with peccary. That’s my story, I’m sticking to it!September 14, 2015 at 3:12 pm #1753September 15, 2015 at 11:33 am #1808
I collect from Belgrade, exclusively from the grey and tan River Bend Formation at the base of the quarry. I have numerous shark and ray teeth. In addition, the grey matrix rock on Topsail Beach is also River Bend, Oligocene, and I have a lot of material from there as well – though mostly invertebrate, there are some shark and ray teeth, fish scales and verts. and misc. bone bits in matrix from there as well. Also 2 primitive cetacean brain casts and 2 isolated teeth in matrix were recovered and are now at the Smithsonian.September 15, 2015 at 11:34 am #1809September 15, 2015 at 11:36 am #1810
In answer to Victor @vperez, I have a partial sawfish rostral from Onslow Quarry where they are starting a new quarry area and it is Eocene if you are interested.September 15, 2015 at 1:20 pm #1818Victor PerezParticipant
Hi Linda, great to hear from you again! Your comments in this forum are exactly what we’re looking for. You’re facilitating collaborations and research, which is something we hope will continue as the website grows.
In fact, we’re going to have amateur paleontologists come to UF to help catalog the specimens that were collected from Belgrade. We were hoping to orient the cataloging around a research question. Since you have more experience collecting in Belgrade, I was wondering if you have any ideas for questions that we might address?
The question I had regarding sawfish distribution is on a global scale and can’t be addressed from Belgrade alone, so I’m trying to find something that is more focused on the local fauna.September 15, 2015 at 1:40 pm #1819
Hi Linda @lmccall –Thanks!
The Miocene land mammals should be coming from the lower (older) units and would include land mammal teeth and bones (not marine species) that would occur mixed along with marine critters. I am excited to know that your club might have some good stuff, because I was previously only aware of the handful of fossils in the Smithsonian (from Dave Bohaska @dbohaska). If your group has fossils, I’d love to see photos and then I can let you know if they are what we are looking for, or not.
All the best, BruceSeptember 15, 2015 at 8:09 pm #1837
Bruce @bmacfadden –
I feel that the Equus horse tooth and Victor’s (@vperez) peccary astragalus came from a Pliocene layer — the Duplin formation, and possibly the Belgrade formation (late Miocene). Due to the close proximity to the Neuse River and the Atlantic coast, this area was under water. If the sea level fell low enough during the Miocene, this may have been a saltwater marsh which would not be a conducive environment for many mammals to live in. This will be a tough rock to crack as the geology suggests that this area was underwater. I will ask members who have collected in the past – that’s why I always go to that hill on the left when we drive in and look at those old wall edges to see if anything is coming out of the new exposure in the upper layers. I like my verts as well as shark teeth. Lee (@lcone) definitely will have some members to ask too – we’ll just keep working at it!
-ChuckSeptember 17, 2015 at 1:14 pm #1873
Here is some info and perspective from Dave Bohaska @dbohaska of the Smithsonian
Will find all the Belgrade material here; I think we can count them on the fingers of one hand. My notes of 22-23 May 2015 mention the astragalus that Victor found, and an enamel fragment also. The next day Kyle Grimsley in brought a partial horse upper to the Festival, which my notes say you saw. Good idea putting the notice out on myFossil. Be prepared to see Pleistocene mammals.
Couple odontocete periotics were found on that trip also, so we can conclude there are at least two species. More identifiable marine mammal material has turned up on the NC coast in Upper Oligocene limestone, which is close or the same formation lower in the quarry. Oligocene or Lower Miocene, key time in the evolution of cetaceans.
The stratigraphy there has me confused. Formation names are going back and forth, and that layer is put in the Upper Oligocene by Buck Ward.
-DaveSeptember 19, 2015 at 3:29 pm #1903Another fossil land mammal, a peccary, has surfaced from Belgrade thanks to Linda. I have cut-and-pasted the email thread that relates to this new fossil.Yes, please do!Linda McCallPresident – North Carolina Fossil ClubResearch Fellow – University of Texas at Austin512-422-2322
Very interesting! Thanks for putting the call out. Can I upload this to the myfossil site so it can be integrated into the Belgrade Forum?
From: Linda McCall <[email protected]>
Sent: Saturday, September 19, 2015 11:57 AM
To: Julie Niederkorn
Subject: Re: Belgrade Oligocene mammal fossils anyone?Cool! Thanks!Linda McCallPresident – North Carolina Fossil ClubResearch Fellow – University of Texas at Austin512-422-2322
Hi LindaI will not be able to come to the meeting on Sunday. I have one peccary tooth that I found at Belgrade last spring.Please let me know if you need more.Thanks,Julie NiederkornOn Sep 15, 2015, at 4:07 PM, Linda McCall <[email protected]> wrote:Hello fellow club members,Bruce McFadden from the Florida Museum of Natural History is working on a project that involves vertebrate material from Belgrade. If any of you have any mammal material from there that you think might be Oligocene, could you please bring it to the meeting Sunday if you are coming? I can photograph it and send it to Bruce to see if that is what he is looking for. They think there is a peccary and maybe a beaver and I’m not sure what else – so any vert stuff you have from Belgrade that is terrestrial and not obviously Pleistocene will be welcomed.If you’re not coming to the meeting, but have some material, please email me and we can figure out how to get photos of it.Thanks!September 24, 2015 at 1:24 pm #2127
Hi Linda–I’m wondering how it went at your meeting last week and if any other Belgrade mammals surfaced? So far from our conversations, and member feedback to you, I recall a beautiful Archaeohippus tooth set and peccaries. These are all interesting and important.
I’ve also been wrestling with the problem of the age and context of the fossils based on the fact that they are rarely collected within the sediments. The horse Archaeohippus is diagnostic for the early or middle Miocene, but the peccary may be longer-lived and could actually be from much younger units, even Pleistocene as Chuck has previously noted as well.
There is a relatively new technique called rare-earth element sourcing that we could potentially use to tell use the relative ages of individual fossils collected within the Belgrade Quarry.
I’m wondering if perhaps sometime I could come up and talk with your club about the importance of the fossils, PLUS this new rare-earth element technique?
I look forward to hearing from you. More later–BruceSeptember 29, 2015 at 1:01 am #2162
Bruce @bmacfadden –
There are discrepancies in the geology and descriptions in the documents I have in my library that I have found. The most consistent is Geological Survey Bulletin 1457-f (1978) by Lauck W. Ward, “Stratigraphic revision of the Middle Eocene, Oligocene, and Lower Miocene – Atlantic Coastal Plain of North Carolina.” Check this out – and I’ll bring a copy to Dallas. It is consistent with what we have been finding (check out page 10).
Here’s a link to the PDF: report
ChuckSeptember 29, 2015 at 4:29 pm #2163
Hi Chuck–I have a copy of this paper, thanks to Dave Bohaska. The early Miocene (Thomas Farm, equivalent) fossil mammals seem to be coming out of the Belgrade Formation, Haywood Landing Member (locality 20)–see page F20. The fossil mammals likely constrain the age of this Member to about 19 to 16 million years old. We might get the age a little more precise if we find more diagnostic taxa.
This is very exciting! BruceOctober 9, 2015 at 11:09 am #2228
I have been quiet of late, but am still interested in the Belgrade. Our student Aldo had his oral exams for his PhD yesterday. These are usually harrowing experiences. I brought in the Belgrade astragalus (see previous photos), and asked Aldo what it was. He said it was definitely a peccary! So, Chuck, we are on the right track.
In November I will be going to the Smithsonian to look at the fossil mammals from Belgrade (NB–Dave), with the intention of developing a small paper on these at some point. Linda–I’ll want to touch base with you about your members with Belgrade mammals.
I’m also hearing through the grapevine that there is some doubt about my age interpretation for the Belgrade mammals!
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